Friday 1 June 2012
Monday 23 April 2012
Two chapters into a story set in Berlin in the fifties, I was getting impatient to start, so instead I decided to illustrate a song I wrote some time ago. It's a noir tale about a guy who picks the wrong girl to chat up, called "T stands for Trouble".
First time out, I'm probably approaching the thing all wrong, but it's coming together bit by bit.
Here's a couple of the first page layouts. Type is just loosely dumped in for the moment. The story ends with a busker on a San Francisco pier, ultimately it seems it should start with him too, so the middle one seems to work best.
I'll post more as it develops.
Tuesday 13 March 2012
Today is my wife's birthday and in place of the usual perfume/ costume jewellery/ two week shopping trip to New York, she asked me to do something cartoony about the kids. I'd been meaning to get around to dabbling with clay, so this was the perfect opportunity. I put together the basic frames with pipe cleaners wrapped in masking tape and worked from a quick pencil sketch of the three vagabonds.
My eldest daughter likes the idea of being a skateboarder a lot - quite a bit more than the actuality of getting out on the thing and putting in some time to master it. Her sister likewise likes the idea of playing her pink guitar more than the tiresome chore of actually practising on it. Their little brother, however spends all his time working on his mastery of rail crashes and is bound to make his parents proud in his future career as a stunt train driver. The dog?. Well the dog thinks he's just perfect as he is.
I started with a quick pencil sketch and started getting the general shape of the figures together with pipe cleaners.
These I wrapped in masking tape to give something for the clay to get a grip on.
The heads were made using polystyrene or aeroboard spheres about the size of table tennis balls. These I scored with a breadknife, again to give some purchase for the clay. The clay I used was DAS air drying clay - inexpensive, fairly quick drying and crucially I don't have an oven in my studio.
The pink figures you see below are where I brushed PVA over the figures to seal them. I added a little pink so I could see what I had already covered. I finished them by painting the figures in acrylic. Guitar and skateboard were just cut from cardboard and capaboard and scraped over with wet clay.
Finally, I made the display case from some old Ikea drawers - they have grooves routed out for the hardboard base -perfect for slipping the glass and backing board into.
Thursday 1 March 2012
Hot off the Press.
It's a sizeable volume with more than 300 pages and over 500 sketches from over 50 cities around the globe. There's a nice 2 page spread on my drawings around Dublin and a couple of other sketches of mine scattered around in the book
What's great about this book is how different artists interpret their cities, and the range of sketching styles on display
The Art of Urban Sketching is available worldwide through local bookstores and Amazon.
Tuesday 14 February 2012
From time to time I contribute to Leif Peng's Today's Inspiration blog.
This week I look at the the box-art of Airfix and Matchbox model planes and vehicles, comparing two of the most dramatic illustrators the industry produced- The two Roys - Cross and Huxley.
Monday 6 February 2012
The main exhibition was of Art Spiegelman and his work - Maus of course, but also some of his less well known comics. There was also a major exhibition in the permanant museum of bandes dessinees - of work that inspired and influenced him.
I spent most of the weekend checking out stalls and catching up with friends so had few opportunities to sit down and do lengthy sketches. Below are a few that I managed to fit into the pauses between browsing and carousing.
Thursday 22 December 2011
Monday 19 December 2011
Friday 19 August 2011
Thursday 11 August 2011
Sometimes it's nice to get back to basics, put away all the groovy drawing materials and just sketch with what you've got.
This drawing was completed with a €2 set of acrylics from the euro discount store (including shaggy excuse for a brush), some ice pop sticks and pieces of cardboard torn from a coffee carton. The only sop to proper drawing equipment was a black felt tip pen I had on me.
It ain't sophisticated, but somehow it's exactly what sketching is supposed to be - fast, impressionistic and less than perfect.
Monday 1 August 2011
Any other night in pubs around the city, traditional Irish music resounds in casual gatherings of musicians both proficient and inept. That's the beauty of it. As Forest Gump said 'You never know what you're going to get"
Down at the Financial district another musician tries his luck
The Luas tram trundles from Hueston station over Sarsfield bridge towards the ciy centre.
Friday 22 July 2011
The first is an early morning sketch at the Smithfield vegetable and flower markets.
The second, shoppers doing what they do best- keeping the market for non-essentials afloat
Last is a view of Rathmines church and cricket ground.
Wednesday 4 May 2011
Promenade and sandcastles
View of the hills
Bored in the departure lounge
Tuesday 18 January 2011
This is the impressive new Grand Canal Theatre designed by Daniel Libeskind and sketched on a blustery sunny afternoon when the place was almost deserted. It's a wonderful space with the water of the docks off to right, an eclectic mix of building styles and no sense of that identikit dockland's vernacular you seem to find in areas like this the world over.
After a rain shower and the watery sun washes over some interesting apartments beside the distillery buildings in the Smithfield part of town.
Saturday 15 January 2011
George's street and Exchequer street intersection with the ornate George's street arcade in the background. This leads towards Grafton street, the main shopping street on the city's southside
A foggy morning down on the north quays. The whole area is slowly being redeveloped in that generic "waterfront" style - a few statement buildings, acres of office blocks that wouldn't look out of place in a retail park and some carefully restored remnants of the past - but no soot or rust please! On mornings like this when the whole shebang is shrouded in fog and you can taste the seasalt on your face, it somehow seems more visceral and real.
Dame street, just across from Dublin castle with City Hall in the background.
Thursday 9 September 2010
While the streetfront of Kilkenny was mostly re-modeled in the 19th century, a walk down the backlanes where you can see the rear of the commercial buildings, often reveals the medieval character of the city. This is just off John Street in the centre of town.
Friday 20 August 2010
What a beautiful city. I've always had an interest in it from a historical perspective and it didn't disappoint.
So much of the city that was extant during the siege of 1453 still stands, though some by a thread. One night about 3 am I was woken by a tremendous roar. I rushed outside to see that the adjoining building - made of wood and rubble- had collapsed into the street. Luckily no-one was hurt. Go see sometime soon.
The Galata tower. It now has a swanky restaurant on top.
View from the Galata bridge. A great place to watch the sun set over your mojito.
Between the Hagia Sophia and the walls of the Topkapi Palace
Tram across the Bosphorus.
Traffic on the Bosphorus